Budget and Taxes

If you want to comment on the hearings or during the public comment period, go to the city agenda and follow the instructions.

Page numbers given below correspond to the page numbers of the packet items.

Secret Executive Session – 5:45 p.m

  1. During this closed session, expected to last for 15 minutes, Council will discuss union contracts and/or negotiations.

City Council Regular Meeting – 6:00 p.m.

Welcome and Roll Call

Pledge of Allegiance

Approval of Agenda: (Approved by Motion)


2. Covid-19 Update, Cindy Reents, City Manager.  Pg. 6

Public Hearing:  You can have 3 minutes to comment here.  Go to the agenda (link above) for instructions.

3. Proposed 2021 budget and 2021-2026 Capital Improvement Plan.  The budget proposal is online.    Pg. 7

4. Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Southeast Washington telecommunicators Guild. The contract is provided on Pg. 177-211.

5. Collective Bargaining Agreement with the International Union of Operating Engineers. Their contract is provided on Pg. 211-266

Public Comments:  You have 2 minutes to talk about anything, but questions are not allowed. The city attorney reads the rules and the penalties for citizen misbehavior, like clapping, which seem even more ridiculous now that citizens attend the meetings remotely.

Consent Calendar:   The Council lumps everything into this category. The items receive little if any discussion and only one vote so that no one can be held accountable.


6. Approval of the Oct. 20 council meeting minutes and the Oct. 27 council workshop minutes. These tell you next to nothing. Pg. 10-21   If you’re really interested in what happened, go to City View and watch the tapes

Ordinances – First Reading

7. Approving the 2021 Budget and the 2021-2026 Capital Improvement Plan. In case you have forgotten already, this was the first public hearing. Pg. 22-25

8. Amending Chapter 2.04 of the Richland Municipal Code. This is mostly a cleanup.  It makes all of the descriptions of the city manager gender neutral. It changes the names of several city committees and departments to reflect their current responsibilities.  For instance, Parks and Recreation becomes Parks and Public Facilities. The job of the assistant city manager has been amended. Pg. 26-41

Ordinances – Second Reading & Passage

9. Increasing funding for fire department radios, stormwater facility maintenance, wastewater plant improvements and industrial development. Pg. 42-45

10, Potable water cannot be used for irrigation where non-potable water is available. A violation could result in your potable water service being discontinued. Pg.46-50

11. If you own a $300,000 house, your taxes will go up by $7.  The rest of the numbers are on Pg. 54.

12. More on Taxes   Pg. 51-60

13. More on Taxes   Pg. 51-60

14. You’re not allowed to discharge a firearm in the city unless it’s at the airport and you’re shooting at animals that could crash an airplane. But according to the airport officials, shooting is the last resort. Pg. 61-63

15. If you want to repair your sidewalk and you fill out enough paperwork, the city will reimburse 25% of the costs.  If you don’t clear your sidewalk of snow, you could be in trouble.  Check the rules. Pg. 64-67

16. The definition of a potentially dangerous animal is amended to include an animal endangering someone “on the private property of another.” As written, the same behavior on public property would warrant declaring the animal as potentially dangerous, but no protections are afforded for the same conduct on the private property of another. Pg. 68-73

17. There’s a deficiency in the definition of Second Degree Criminal Trespass. This remedies that by defining “premises” as “any real property (fenced or unfenced), vehicle, railway car, cargo container, or other similar structure.” This definition will eliminate ambiguity between second degree criminal trespass and first degree criminal trespass, which provides that it is unlawful for any person to knowingly enter or remain, unlawfully, in a building of another Pg. 73-75

18. The lodging tax charged to hotel guests and used for tourism promotion in the Tri-Cities will be increased from $2.00 to $3.00 a night. Pg. 76-78

Resolutions – Adoptions

19. Commonstreet Consulting, LLC,  will be hired to help the city staff acquire the right-of-way for three projects — Among these are Center Parkway, the Vantage Highway Path – Phase 2, South George Washington Way Intersection Improvements, Van Giesen/Thayer Intersection Improvements, and Gage Boulevard Improvements. Pg 79-136

20. Approving the 2021 Tri-City Regional Hotel-Motel Commission budget and marketing plan. Everything you wanted to know about tourism in the Tri-Cities.  Pg. 137-166.

21. More about raising the lodging tax. Pg. 167-172

22. Updating council assignments. New Councilmember Marianne Boring will have Brad Anderson’s assignments. Welcome to the Mosquito Control Board Councilmember Boring! Councilmember Terry Christensen wanted Brad’s assignment to the Lodging Tax Board. The council voted to grant him his wish with the proviso that he recuses himself for matters involving softball. In the past Christensen has been in hot water for lobbying for his favorite sport.

23. Approving the 2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Southeast Washington Telecommunicators Guild. This was the subject of the earlier public hearing.  The contract is on pg. 177-211.

24. Approving the 2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement with the International Union of Operating Engineers. This was the subject of the earlier public hearing. The contract is on pg. 211-266

25. Adopting the City of Richland’s 2021 legislative priorities. The City is leading a regional effort to improve SR240 with an Aaron Drive flyover exchange, estimated to cost $30 million. The second requested improvement is the SR240 / SR224 / Van Giesen Street Interchange, estimated to cost $45 million. Other projects include police training, environmental improvements to the area around Bateman Island, and funding for LED lights for city streets. Pg. 267-270

26. Adopting the City of Richland street light standards. The city wants to switch to LED lights. The policy for street lighting is included in these pages. Pg. 271-283 

27. Authorizing a grant agreement with the Washington Traffic Safety Commission for Pedestrian Safety Funding. Plenty of information here about the contract and funding but nothing about what the police actually plan to do about pedestrian safety.  Pg. 284-289

28. Authorizing the 5-year renewal agreement for the promotion of tourism with the Tri-Cities Visitor and Convention Bureau. The City agrees to pay the Bureau fifty percent of the annual average hotel/motel tax receipts of the City collected from the first two percent levied for the five-year period immediately preceding each year of the contract period.   See Pg. 290-295

Items – Approval

Expenditures – Approval

Items of Business

Authorizing a funding agreement with Benton country for the Center Parkway North – Gage to Tapteal Project. The proposed agreement will secure $1,240,000 from the Benton County Rural County Capital Fund for this project.  Pg 296 – 304

Reports and Comments

City Manager, City Councilmembers, Mayor 

blah, blah, blah

Secret Executive Session

Yes, another one. This time the council will discuss lawsuits


If you want to stick around until after this secret meeting, Mayor Ryan Lukson will come out and say “meeting adjourned”.